Andy Murray thought his days of gracing Wimbledon showcourts were behind him after hip surgery but he returned to the All England Club in the men’s doubles on Thursday and eased into the second round with French partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Murray, who had a hip resurfacing operation in February, having announced his probable retirement from the sport, has won 45 singles titles, including three Grand Slams, but the Scot is a relative novice in the doubles tournaments.
Without the hullabaloo that will accompany his mixed doubles partnership with Serena Williams, which is scheduled to get underway on Friday, he and Herbert made a solid start to their campaign, beating Ugo Humbert and Marius Copil 4-6 6-1 6-4 6-0.
“Every time I’m on the court now, it’s great,” said Murray. I’m just playing tennis again. Pain-free, healthy. It’s nice. It’s what I have enjoyed doing since I was a kid. At times over the last few years, I was not getting any enjoyment out of it.
“The fun is back. Hopefully, my hip will feel good for a while,” added the 32-year-old.
Murray’s win was cheered to the rafters as he celebrated under the new roof on Court One after British fans had earlier enjoyed victories by local favourites Johanna Konta and Harriet Dart in the women’s singles and Dan Evans in the men’s.
The 19th-seeded Konta reached the third round with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 win over Czech Katerina Siniakova to set up an encounter with American Sloane Stephens in a repeat of last month’s French Open quarter-final which the Briton won 6-1 6-4.
Dart, 22, made the third round for the first time with a 7-6(4) 3-6 6-1 win over Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia, while Evans, in the main draw for the first time since serving a year-long drugs ban, beat 18th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-2 7-6(2).
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines